dried lasagne noodles or fresh ones
4 cups of whole milk (2 pints)
125 gr. butter
a knob of butter
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 punnets of mushrooms (I took one punnet of brown and one punnet of oriental mushrooms)
1 handful of dried porcini mushrooms
1 bag of fresh spinach
1 cup freshly ground Parmesan
1 cup of freshly grated cheddar
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees or gas mark 5.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 tablespoon salt and a splash of oil. Add the lasagne noodles and cook according to the packet instructions. If you use fresh lasagne sheets you don’t have to do anything with them (this is what I used!)
For the white sauce, bring the milk to a simmer in a saucepan. Set aside. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture all at once. Add 1 tablespoon salt, the pepper, nutmeg and cayenne pepper and cook over medium-low heat, stirring first with the wooden spoon and then with a whisk, for 3 to 5 minutes. Add half a cup of parmesan and half a cup of the grated cheddar and stir into the sauce. Set aside.
Boil some water and pour over the dried porcini mushrooms to soak them while you slice the fresh mushrooms and fry them in a large pan in some butter and oil. Season them with salt and pepper.
Put some olive oil into a large frying pan, then empty the bag of fresh spinach into the pan. Add the garlic and some freshly ground pepper and stir until the spinach is done.
Squeeze the excess water out of the porcini mushrooms and add them to the fried fresh ones.
To assemble the lasagne, spread some of the sauce in the bottom of an 8 by 12 by 2-inch baking dish. Arrange a layer of noodles on top, then more sauce, then 1/3 of the mushrooms and 1/3 of the spinach. Sprinkle with some parmesan and cheddar. Repeat 2 more times, layering noodles, sauce, mushrooms, spinach and cheese. Top with a final layer of noodles and sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Bake the lasagne for 45 minutes, or until the top is browned the sauce is bubbly and hot.